Tuscaloosa police and fire crews searching Black Warrior River for missing UA student


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Police and fire crews are searching the Black Warrior River for a missing University of Alabama student last seen early Sunday morning.  

Garrett Walker, a 20-year-old junior from Maryland, was last seen at the Gray Lady bar in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Police Chief Brent Blankley says he believes Walker is in the river because of evidence found on the Black Warrior River bank. Walker’s cell phone and some clothing items were discovered on the bank near the river walk.

“We have reason to believe he is in the Black Warrior River, we retrieved some of his clothing items that led us to believe this. Our divers have been in the water nonstop and will continue to stay in the water to try to locate him inside the river.”

Search crews are using three boats to search the river, first responders are also using drones to see if any more evidence can be seen from the air. Fire Chief Randy Smith tells CBS 42 boat crews are using sophisticated underwater sonar to locate Walker.  

“We are utilizing drones in the air to see if we can locate anything on the bank. We’ve done numerous underwater searches and they are running both ends of the river back and forth looking for anything using side scan sonar. If they find anything we will drop a buoy and we will bring in a diver to check.”

Chief Smith tells CBS 42 dive teams and rescue boats are planning to search the Black Warrior River until 9 p.m. Monday night and are planning to resume the search Tuesday if necessary.

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